The IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol (NWLink) is the Microsoft 32-bit implementation of Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX). You must use this protocol if you want to use Gateway Service for NetWare or Client Service for NetWare to connect to NetWare servers.
NWLink provides only the transport protocol to support communications with NetWare file servers. To log on to a NetWare network from a Windows 2000 Professional–based computer, you must use Client Service for NetWare or a NetWare client such as Novell Client for Windows 2000. Alternately, you could use a gateway-based solution by installing Gateway Service for NetWare on a Windows 2000 Server–based computer. Client Service for NetWare and Gateway Service for NetWare are discussed later in this chapter.
Because NWLink is NDIS-compliant, the Windows 2000–based computer can simultaneously run other protocol stacks, such as TCP/IP, through which it can communicate with TCP/IP-based Windows computers. NWLink can bind to multiple network adapters with multiple frame types.
Like Windows 2000, NetWare 5.0 uses TCP/IP as the native protocol, and IPX is not installed by default. Neither Client Service for NetWare nor Gateway Service for NetWare support connecting to NetWare resources over IP. Therefore, when you use NWLink to connect to NetWare 5.0 servers you must enable IPX on NetWare 5.0 servers.
NWLink supports two networking application programming interfaces (APIs): NetBIOS and Windows Sockets. These APIs allow communication among computers running Windows 2000 and between computers running Windows 2000 and NetWare servers.
In addition to using NWLink to connect computers running Windows 2000 and computers running NetWare, you can use NWLink whenever you need IPX/SPX. For example, you can use NWLink to connect proxy servers or servers running Microsoft® Systems Management Server (SMS), SNA Servers, SQL Servers, or Exchange Servers, when an IPX/SPX-based protocol is used.
NWLink requires little or no initial client configuration on small non-routed networks.